Volunteers Needed for Macon’s Brookdale Warming Center

Brookdale Warming Center is serving people in need through its partnerships with United Way and the Salvation Army. The center offers three meals a day, cots to sleep on, and clothes for visitors in need. Brookdale operates with the help of Central Georgia volunteers from the Macon area and surrounding communities. 

Brookdale Warming Center was converted from the closed-down Brookdale Elementary School. According to The Macon Telegraph, the Brookdale Warming Center opened a week after both Manuel Foster, 63, and Larry Howard, 61, froze to death on Christmas Day in Macon, Georgia.

Assistant Director of the Brookdale Warming Center, Alison Bender said volunteers can offer their services to the Brookdale Warming Center in a variety of ways. Bender said volunteering with the center can include; sorting and organizing donated clothing, serving food at lunch and dinner, making bedrolls with hygiene kits for residents, and office help as volunteers and residents check-in. 

“They [Brookdale Warming Center] have made it very easy to serve. They let you know what their specific needs are,” volunteer Lara Carlton said. 

The Brookdale Warming Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Assistant Director Bender said Brookdale is in need of volunteers, especially during the evenings and weekends. Bender said the center needs volunteers during these times to help in the office with intake forms. 

People interested in volunteering can contact the Brookdale Warming Center by email at [email protected] or can fill out this google form  to notify the center of your availability and volunteering interests. 

In addition to needing volunteers for office help, Brookdale needs more volunteers to help serve meals at  dinner mealtime. Volunteer help is needed from 4:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day. 

Volunteers can sign up through a SignUp Genius form provided by the Brookdale Warming Center, Bender said when Brookdale opened the point of the center was to get people off of the street. The Brookdale Warming Center is a temporary fixture in the Macon community, originally set to be open until March. Bender said the center is now set to be open until June 1. 

“It’s a big thing, seeing those in need, those that come from having nothing to being thankful this facility [Brookdale] is there to help them, “ Bender said. 

The center is following COVID-19 safety precautions as suggested by the CDC. Masks are mandatory in the center and hand sanitizer is frequently offered. Before entering the center, temperatures are checked and documented during sign-in. Social distancing is enforced in the cafeteria and in the food lines.